Taken by NASA in 2020,
© Courtesy of NASA
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.
Reflection on the NASA photograph
When the scribe asked Jesus in today’s Gospel reading which was the first of all the commandments, Jesus replied by giving him not just the first but the second commandment as well. For Jesus, these two commandments were intrinsically linked. In mentioning these two commandments, Jesus speaks of three loves, the love of God, the love of neighbour and the love of self. Three loves, very closely linked together. Inseparable. Yet, Jesus clearly declares that the first love in our lives is to be the love of God. From the love we hold for God, all other loves will flow.
We can love God, as we know that God loves us with all his heart. This realisation, that God loves us first, will enable us to love God back with all our heart.
And what better image to use to illustrate God’s love for our world than using a NASA photograph showing our beautiful planet, his greatest gift to us. The photo depicts the crystal blue waters around Cuba and the Bahamas. These NASA images reflect earth and the universe as the greatest work of art ever created... not by human hands, but by God.
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